April 30, 2022 South Padre Island Day 2

If it weren’t for the birds walking around on the roof of the bus and someone nearby having a loud conversation in the early morning hours, we would have slept better. We had a leisurely morning and got ready to take a drive down to the end of the island. We wanted to get an earlier start to our day, so we left the campground at 10:00 and went to see the boat launch at the campground. We wanted to check out the water conditions today. It looked pretty calm.

We also stopped to look at Pier 19 inside the campground which is now closed due to a fire on the pier. The pier burned in February 2022. The cause of the fire is unknown, but luckily they got the two boats which were at the dock removed before the fire caused them any damage.

As we were pulling out of the campground to leave, we saw what I thought was a dog run across the road. Bob said it was a coyote and from closer inspection I could see that too. We couldn’t believe our eyes! What the heck is a coyote doing here?

From the campground, we drove a mile to the end of the island to Isla Blanca Beach Park. We paid the $12 entrance fee that would allow us to use the park for as long as we want today.

We drove around the park and found a place to park at the southernmost end of the island. We wanted to see the Space X facility that is located at Boca Chica. We knew we could look across Santiago Pass and see it on the opposite side.

Unfortunately, it was very hazy so it was hard to see, but we sat there awhile and through the binoculars we could make out the shape of the buildings and the rocket on the launch pad there. You have to look really hard in these pictures to see it.

This park would be a great place to view a launch someday. In doing some research, I learned that Space X uses the 2 launch sites in Florida–Cape Canaveral and Kennedy Space Center, and 2 others. The one at Boca Chica is being used for Starship 9 and commercial launches, but it has not flown yet. We were disappointed that is wasn’t a clearer day. We drove over by the beach, parked, and took a walk on the beach. They had these really nice covered sitting areas along the boardwalk.

It was early in the day, but there were lots of folks arriving for a day on the beach. They allow you to collect a 5 gallon bucket of shells if you’re so inclined.

There were kite boarders, wave surfers, paddle boarders, and people enjoying the water.

This extreme off-road RV from Utah was parked at the beach. These are some serious RVers.

There was also a nice campground in the park that was quite full, so we took a drive in there to check it out. These little kids were having the best time swimming in their covered pool–snorkels, masks, and all.

On the shoreline stood this beautiful statue.

Boats left from the marina to take people fishing and commercial shrimp boats went out for a day of fishing.

The winds were calmer today, but good for a sail on the water.

As we left, I saw this beautiful prickly pear cactus in bloom with orange flowers.

From the park, we drove down Highway 100/Padre Blvd. looking for a beach access road so we could drive out onto the beach. Most of the beach access roads in town were for pedestrians walking to the beach, but as we left the town limits, we saw an access road to a tidal beach that was exposed due to the tide being out.

We drove on it a little and decided to find a better beach to drive on. We did a google search and located Beach Access Road #6. This was the one! We pulled up to the kiosk and were able to use the ticket that we bought to get into the park to enter. It was good all day for any beach access by vehicles.

Driving out on the beach to the north, we saw lots of people parked there enjoying the day with their family–fishing, swimming, and grilling. An ice cream truck came by playing calliope music.

A man was pushing a cart through the sand selling snacks.

We even saw an RV on the beach that looked like it might be spending the night. How the heck did they drive that thing in the sand?

Farther down the beach, there were 8 Jeeps lined up, probably a club out on a Saturday outing. They gave us the “Jeep wave” as we went by.

We drove 3 miles in one direction in the hopes of finding another access road to leave on, but after asking someone, we found out that we had to leave the same way we came in. By now, there was a line of vehicles waiting to get on the beach.

We continued on down the highway which was lined with tall sand dunes.

We came to a spot in the road where the sand was encroaching on the highway and limiting the access in our lane.

We drove to the end of the highway where the road ended and we could go no further.

We turned around and headed back into town to look for a place to grab a beer and a snack.

We found just the place at Tequila Sunset Bar and Grill. It was right on the water.

We ordered beers and . . . no, not nachos . . . onion rings. These were the biggest onions rings we’ve ever seen. They were delicious, but we had to bring half of them home. This is what was left that we brought home. The single order was huge.

We finished our food and went back to the campground after we made a stop at the IGA and Ben’s Liquor Store.

On the drive back, we saw this beautiful turtle on the side of a a building.

The line of cars coming over the bridge to the island was long by now. Back at the campground, Bob and I took a walk to the Commons building to check it out. Inside, there was a TV, ping pong table, movie room, library, and a fitness area upstairs.

We also checked out the little store, showerhouse, and the pool. All the facilities are very nice and well-kept. Our neighbors on both sides left this morning, but those slots were filled by dinnertime with RVers from Wisconsin–Hayward and Mequon. We sat outside with Auggie in the shade with a cool breeze blowing off the water. He spent the afternoon with his nose stuck in a hole in the base of a palm tree sniffing something and wore himself out. We had dinner and took our walk around the campground as usual and returned to the bus to watch some TV. I walked over to the water to see the sunset around 8.

Tomorrow we leave for San Antonio for 2 nights. We’ve been to San Antonio before on our last visit to this area. This is more of a stop-over before our next destination, Fredricksburg, TX, but we wanted to revisit the River Walk and spend a little time downtown. We have to get an early start tomorrow because we have 297 miles to go, so we hooked up the Jeep tonight to help with a faster departure. This is the last of our time along the coast. We head inland from here on out.

2 thoughts on “April 30, 2022 South Padre Island Day 2”

  1. Bob & Dee Miller

    We were wondering if you would be able to see the Space X site. Too bad there wasn’t a better view. How exciting would it have been to see a launch!!

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